“I mean these are very interesting times:” Supply chain issues hitting some grocery stores

DELMARVA– A chain of events are leaving some grocery store shelves empty.

“You’re feeling all of these areas impacted that we’d never had problems in due to sickness, because of shortages, I mean these are very interesting times,” Cailey Locklair, President of Maryland Retailers Association, said.

Whether you’re looking for eggs or meat, you may have a hard time getting your hands on these items. A lot comes down to COVID-19 and supply chain issues.

“When the pandemic first hit, everybody was going to the grocery stores and we had a lot of out of stocks at that point some of the manufacturers began shutting down due to the pandemic,” Gerry Hocker, the Vice President of Hocker’s Supermarket, said.

Three key pieces make up the food supply chain, production, processing, and retail. Each one has been slammed by the pandemic.

“I think what we are seeing across the country now manufacturers the companies that would make three or for sizes of something they are actually starting to downsize to two sizes,” Hocker said.

“We also on top of that have our trucker shortage and that actually existed even before the pandemic, there was a shortage for CDL drivers,” Locklair said.

And, on top of the shortages there’s also the increased costs at every step of the supply chain.

“Now, we are seeing the main issue now as a result of the gas prices we are seeing deliveries, delivery costs are higher,” Hocker said.

At Hocker’s Supermarket, in Delaware, Hocker said they haven’t been hit as hard as their competition, largely because they’re an independent store.

“Many of your chain stores have to put on their shelves what comes from their warehouse whereas we are fortunate to look elsewhere if need be,” Hocker said.

And, when it comes to empty supermarket shelves, there’s actually something you can do to help.

We’re told to help keep these shelves stocked, customers shouldn’t panic buy.

“Your neighbors and their ability to access food and those essential items is impacted when people start hoarding and we all know the toilet paper debacle and we do not need to relive that,” Locklair said.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware, Local News, Maryland